Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Join Me at Discover STEM
  • Job Fair April 26th
  • Mentored Youth Trout Day
  • Senate Reviews Proposed State Budget
  • Check the Status of Your Tax Refund
  • Improving Access to Unemployment Compensation System
  • Veterans: Protect Your Pension
  • Out and About in the 30th

Join Me at Discover STEM

Bring your children and join me at Discover STEM: A Day for Families, an event I am hosting in partnership with the Science in Motion Consortium and Juniata College.

This will be an educational, interactive, and immersive day filled with the exploration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

At the event, you and your child can:

  • Explore the StarLab,
  • Watch ice cream develop before your eyes,
  • Code your way through the world of robots,
  • Discover secrets of the animal kingdom,
  • And man more hands-on activities!

Discover STEM will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. until noon, at the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center, Juniata College, 1700 Moore St, Huntingdon.

Science in Motion is a state partnership program of colleges and universities. Science in Motion educators bring science and technology learning to the students of the commonwealth.

I hope to see you at Discover STEM!

Job Fair April 26th

Mentored Youth Trout Day

Reminder that this Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 8 a.m. is the Mentored Youth Trout Day. To participate in any Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day, anglers ages 15 and under must obtain either a Voluntary Youth Fishing License or a free Mentored Youth Permit from the PFBC and be accompanied by a licensed adult angler with a trout permit. For more information go to and for trout stocking schedule click on the following link.

Senate Reviews Proposed State Budget

The Senate Appropriations Committee held the first of three weeks of public hearings about the proposed 2023-24 state budget.

Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed a $45.8 billion budget that would increase spending by $1.3 billion. Based on projections, it would nearly wipe out the state’s $5 billion Rainy Day Fund in five years.

State Treasurer Stacy Garrity urged lawmakers to make greater investments in Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund and reduce the structural deficit to improve the state’s credit rating. She testified that the commonwealth has a choice: spend modestly now or face a possible fiscal cliff as federal funds dry up and the Rainy Day Fund is depleted.

Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel confirmed that Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative would mean hundreds of millions of dollars in new energy taxes. Higher electricity costs could be on the horizon if Shapiro advances a carbon tax.

Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at

Check the Status of Your Tax Refund

As families struggle with rising costs and inflation, many are anticipating their tax refund. Anyone who would like to check the status of a Pennsylvania Income Tax refund can do so by calling 1-888-PATAXES or clicking here. There is also an opportunity to verify your tax refund to expedite processing.

Improving Access to Unemployment Compensation System

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry extended indefinitely a program that enhances Pennsylvanians’ access to the Unemployment Compensation (UC) system by offering in-person appointments to claimants.

The program, now called UC Connect, offers in-person services for UC claimants who do not have proper technology, equipment or technical skills; individuals without access to home Internet or broadband; and individuals with limited-English proficiency.

To schedule an appointment, claimants should contact a PA CareerLink® center directly.

Veterans: Protect Your Pension

Veterans and their beneficiaries who are potentially eligible for VA pension benefits must beware of pension poaching. While pension poaching can impact any veteran, poachers primarily target older veterans. Pension poaching comes in several forms, from selling financial products of questionable value to charging a fee to restructure assets to make the veteran or beneficiary meet income eligibility criteria. Read about other pension poaching methods here.

Avoid becoming a victim of pension poaching by never paying:

  • For forms or to submit applications.
  • To restructure assets to “qualify.”
  • For the promise of eligibility for a pension.
  • To receive a lump sum payment on a pension.

If you suspect or experience a scam or financial exploitation related to any veteran benefit, including a VA pension, file a report immediately with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Affairs section by calling 717-783-1944, emailing or filling out this online form.

Out and About in the 30th

I, along with Rep. Rich Irvin (81st District)  and the Huntingdon County Commissioners, sponsored an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Townhall in Huntingdon County. Local emergency responders have been contacting elected officials regarding the dire situation they face. As a result, we hosted a townhall with the PA Bureau of EMS to hear these concerns directly from our EMS providers. The goal of this event was to share the problems these providers face and have the state’s Bureau of EMS address their specific issues. The discussion centered on how we can work together to preserve and strengthen the vital services that our EMS agencies provide.

Visited with my friend Nasir and his Dad, Shawn for “Donuts with Dad” at Begin With Us Childcare & Preschool. He is showing me the donut he made to celebrate the day.

I was honored to participate in the Mifflin County Walk For Life.

Fr. Bill Weary began our walk with prayer and we traveled to AME Bethel church. Pastor Mike Bailey hosted the event featuring Chris Pushaw, Executive Director of the PA Pro-Life Federation and Bonnie Ritchey of Crossroads Pregnancy Center.

This week I attended the Mifflin County Farm Bureau’s spring dinner. Pictured is Tim Goss, Mifflin County Farm Bureau President.

Congratulations to Penn Highlands Huntingdon on the expansion of their Behavioral Health Unit and their new Hahne Cancer and Outpatient Infusion Center.


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